Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd and homegrown hospital chain Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt. Ltd said on Friday they were disappointed over the decision by the board of Fortis Healthcare Ltd to choose the Munjal-Burman combine as the winner of a five-way takeover battle.
IHH managing director and CEO Tan See Leng and Manipal group chairman Ranjan Pai said also in separate statements that their respective bids offered the best short- and long-term plans for Fortis.
“Our bid, which offers the highest price and most comprehensive solution, addresses the short-term liquidity requirement and long-term strategic objectives of the company,” the IHH CEO said.
“We remain committed and are currently evaluating our options. We are open to further discussions with all stakeholders and look forward to the support of Fortis shareholders,” he added.
Over the past few months, media reports have indicated that IHH Healthcare could launch an open offer for Fortis shareholders. IHH’s statement on Friday didn’t say if it plans to take any such action.
Meanwhile, Pai said Manipal’s offer was in the interests of all stakeholders, including shareholders. “After many months of engagement with Fortis, including due diligence, we are disappointed that the board has come to this conclusion,” he said.
“Our offer comprised a significant and necessary immediate investment, a clear strategic plan to fundamentally transform Fortis, as well as synergies from a combination with Manipal. It is now for shareholders to decide whether they will accept the board’s recommendation,” Pai added.
Manipal, backed by private equity firm TPG, had in March signed a pact to acquire Fortis. However, some minority shareholders opposed the deal on concerns the offer undervalued Fortis. This opened the door for other suitors.
Subsequently, Manipal revised its offer three times. Its last offer, made earlier this week, proposed to invest Rs 2,100 crore ($313 million) via a preferential allotment of shares at Rs 160 apiece.
The Munjal-Burman combine’s last offer was to make an upfront equity infusion of Rs 800 crore at Rs 167 per share through a preferential allotment and Rs 1,000 crore through warrants at Rs 176 apiece.
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